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short story

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the red oxide floor

it looked like it was going to rain. flashes of lightning lit up the frosted window pane every now and then. the quiet but ominous rumbling of thunder could be heard, approaching. deepa typed away, her mind suffused with a world she had been trying to find words for the entire day. her fingers moved swiftly over the keypad, then halted as the letters began to form a word. no, it wasn’t right, it didn’t say what she was trying…

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Espresso Shots Now Brewing

five feet of the snake

  “unpalatable to the lord of death! first among the monkeys!! you’ve seen five feet of the snake?? burnt face, extract of low stock!!” jomer oroochi! bandorer ogrogonno!! shaaper paanch pa dekhecho?? mukh pora, bodjaat!! the swear words flew fast, interrupted only by indignant breaths, equally rapid. the frail old lady’s voice got more stentorian with each word, the affront in it resounding. “return them this moment! return them now, i say!” she bellowed, her small frame shaking, her chest…

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Espresso Shots

revolution

the tiny dark man in spotless white dhoti and panjabi – in bengal the kurta has been called that for a very long time – had just reached the palm tree at the end of the unpaved gravel strewn path leading up to the house. rimi peered out of the window, her eyes getting brighter with each step the man took, as she unconsciously closed the book lying on the desk. she’d study later. now, it was time for bismil…

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Espresso Shots

triptych

the fan fell on pishima’s head on monday. everyone remembered it was a monday because shome was on a fast. pishima always made fresh shondesh for shome with cottage cheese and a little sugar when he fasted. she flavoured the shondesh with lemon juice sometimes, or plain new date jaggery if it was winter. sometimes she added a segment or two of orange, after carefully removing the skin, pith, and seeds, of course. when the weather got warm, she sprinkled…

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Festive Specials

The Call Of Love : A Short Story

the call of love a short story

There were bright glaring lights adorning both sides of the deserted road. Meera had her head slumped against the open side window. She could feel the cool night air ruffle her hair as the driver maneuvered the car slowly through the narrow road. Loud, jarring music notes blasted from the speakers that were mounted at every alternate wooden pillar along side the road. Meera’s eyes were glazed, not really registering the formations that her mother and dadi were exclaiming about…

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Rambles, Rhymes and Tales

Zoya

Rap on the door. The seven year old no longer had to be told what to do – she was now well-trained. She raced up to the terrace, carrying Zoya. The terrace was uncommon – it had an enormous crater in the middle, caused by an object thrown from hovering helicopters. A story by our guest writer Swaroopa Lahiri.  It happened during monsoon because the very next day, she had released paper boats in the hollow rain pool and watched…

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Espresso Shots

by the pond

i dreamt of my father and mother today. he was looking handsome. she had that calm air about her which had always been hers, as though she had made it herself. with every gaze of her sharp brown eyes, every raising and lowering of her eyelids, the slow purposeful turn of her head, the stillness she held in every line and curve. she could turn the calm into what she willed in an instant. it always impacted you with such…

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Espresso Shots

rainy days and sundays

“bzzzzzzzzzz!” it was the carpenter bee. black and rotund and a little hazy as it whirred about and dashed against the blooms of the bright yellow trumpet flower. “oh, up early today i see!” exclaimed the lavender mauvely, it was the nearest to the blues it could get. “let it be… let it be…! let it beeeee…” replied the carpenter bee, he had a thing for punning. no one ever said a bee couldn’t, after all. lavender rolled its spikes,…

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Espresso Shots

fifth day of spring : a story

the idols were lined up on the narrow ledge under the tall windows in the corner room. the ledge was designed to be a book shelf but no one remembered seeing a book on it ever; instead, dust and cobwebs gathered and had a good time on the yellow ochre lime wash, enjoying the slanting sun rays that fell through the shutters. but today, there was not a speck of dust anywhere. nor cobwebs. only eight beautiful idols. eight pairs…

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Espresso Shots

the decision

they started cutting the house the day after holi, so that they could finish before the monsoon came. she sat on her bed, legs crossed, staring at the zigzag of blue and dull pink on the fading green counterpane, almost meditative, as she heard the workers arrive. it was two minutes after nine. usually in calcutta, nothing happened on time. bini babu left for work at ten thirty every day, his office started at nine thirty. the cook rarely entered…

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